Along with accordion, saxophone is probably one of the most misunderstood instruments, especially when it comes to its use in modern music. Part of the blame lies on the shoulders of the likes of Kenny G, but then there’s also bands like Morphine and Bohren & Der Club of Gore who are/were fighting to change the perception that saxophone doesn’t have a place in modern music. Mini Pops Junior is another entry in this field.
What they play is a combination of Mille Plateaux / glitch / clicks’n’cuts school with a bit of a cinematic / eerie work similar to that of their countrymen Bohren & Der Club of Gore. There’s a bit more of an improvisational feel to their work than to that of B&DCoG, but both bands do share they love for atmosphere, most certainly.
The key difference between what MPJ are doing and what B&DCoG are doing lies in the fact that saxophone never overshadows over instruments. Most of the time it just hovers in the background, while the rest of instruments are happily bleeping and blooping along.
There are countless ways in which saxophone sounds are processed on this record – there’s a lite-fm jazz / Kenny G vibe of a title track, looped/fragmented sounds of “Junk A Lektra” and a soft moaning heard in the closing track “Synapsis Pt. 2”. Aside from saxophone, the band also tinkers with piano (“Synapsis Pt.1”), clipped beats (“Incantus”) and weird electronic sounds (“Synapsis Pt. 2”).
While “Crew Missing” falls flat sometimes (as in the first minutes of an opening track), there are times when it all comes together beautifully. Even with all its faults and flaws, its still a bold move to try and combine very different genres of music and for that the band should be commended.
Download the album here.